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What Do I Call Us? The Investment Model of Commitment Processes and Changes in Relationship Categorization

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Abstract

The investment model of commitment has been used to understand relationship maintenance and dissolution across a variety of populations and relationship types. The current study used data from the Project on Partner Dynamics (POPD), a cohort study of young adults involved in nonmarital sexual relationships in the Los Angeles area, to test whether and how the investment model of commitment processes predicts individuals' self-reported categorizations of their relationships over time. We examined (1) how relationship categorizations are associated with variables outlined by the investment model and (2) whether model variables predict changes in relationship categorization over time. We found that changes in relationship self-categorization were associated with simultaneous changes in investment model variables, and that the model largely predicts the likelihood of future changes in relational self-categorization. These results are the first to examine how the investment model prospectively predicts the progression or regression of relationships beyond relationship dissolution.

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Hadden, B. W., Harvey, S. M., Settersten, R. A., & Agnew, C. R. (2019). What Do I Call Us? The Investment Model of Commitment Processes and Changes in Relationship Categorization. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10(2), 235–243. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550617745115

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